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June 15, 2011

In Riesling Heaven


A few nights ago, I went out with the love of my life to taste the grape of my life: Riesling.

14 wines from various regions of this world. Blind. 

I enjoyed it big time and took the freedom to use the word 'lecker' (yummi) right away! (Still feeling my freedom, after wine school, where such adjectives were banned from vocabulary...)

This tasting was another great experience to confirm what many wine lovers already know: the many different aroma pictures that can come with this variety is just stunning. From green apple in very young wines coming from cool climate, via yellow stone fruit to very ripe and tropical fruit up to dried apricot in wines from warmer climate and/or depending on the wine's age. Then the grassiness, herbal and flowery notes, the minerality, telling their own stories of the soils the vines have grown in - or/and the vine's age. Riesling with very deep roots, that have grown over decades and thus reached deeper and deeper will show yet different aromas again. This just to touch the surface of instruments the Riesling orchestra can be playing...


All the while the wine remaining true to itself: proud, distinct with a strong back bone. Despite all the variations, one will always (well... as long as the winemaker didn't mess it up completely) recognize: it's a Riesling! That is what I looove about this wine, I guess. In this ever changing world, my Riesling will give me reassurance and a sense of 'coming home' - no matter where that might be...

I will spare you a long list of wine descriptions of last night's wines - I am too impatient myself to read blog articles that are too long... So, I am getting right to the point: my favorites of this one tasting. Please note that it in no way reflects any general preference of region or winery - this here is only about the specific wines tasted this particular time! Another tasting with different Rieslings might (no, will) give a total different picture again. (Which is also why all of this wine tasting remains so exciting.)


No. 1: 2005 Winninger Uhlen Blaufüsser Lay Spätlese "Erste Lage", Heymann-Löwenstein, Winningen Mosel
Dominated by its wonderful minerality from the blue slate this is a truly intense wine with a looong finish. 12,5 % abv keep it lean. The residual sugar makes for a nice balance to the great acidity. I  just   l.o.v.e   it.


No. 2: 2002 Ruppertsberger Gaisböhl "Grand Cru" Riesling trocken, Bürklin-Wolf, Wachenheim, Pfalz
Developed aromas of ripe yellow fruit, herbal, honey and more. Still fresh in taste due to the great acidity. This estate simply knows how to do wine.


No. 3: 2006 Riesling Sheldrake Point, Finger Lakes, Yew York State, USA 
A light bodied wine full of freshness. Not the same mouthfeel as most German Rieslings seem to have. But therefore interesting in its own, perhaps more 'simple, streight forward' style.


No. 4: 2006 Riesling Les Princes Abbes dry, Domaines Schlumberger, Alsace 
Dry! Yes! Loooots of lemon and lime. Most of the tasting group found it too 'sour', missing other fruit aromas. Even I had my problem at first, but the 2nd sip already warmed up my heart to it. I could suddenly taste the freshness of a wonderful summer salad (w/o Ehec)with a good, light vinaigrette to this one. Or some fresh shrimps in a sauce of lemon.... Yum.


And the other wines:
2010 Riesling qbA dry, Metzger, Grünstadt-Asselheim, Pfalz (Value for money!!)
2010 Riesling Close Encounter, Paul Cluiver, Elgin South Africa (Hm..?)
2009 Riesling Kabinett trocken, Deidesheimer Mäushöhle, Kimich, Pfalz (Home.)
2009 Riesling Kab. trocken, Deidesh. Kieselgarten, Kimich (Home. Intense!)
2009 Riesling Magic Mountain trocken, Leitz, Rüdesheim, Rheingau (Yum!!)
2009 Riesling Kamptaler Terrassen trocken, Bründlmayer, Austria (Ok)
2009 Riesling Château Ste. Michelle, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA (Sorry...)
2009 Riesling Kirchenstück Spätl. trocken GG, Buhl, Pfalz (taste i 3-5 yrs again)
2007 Riesling Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Spätl., Faubel, Maikammer, Pfalz (Nice)
2005 Riesling Schodener Herrenberg Trockenbeerenauslese, Herrenberg, Mosel (TBA...)

Matthias Mangold explaining the vineyard sites of the Mittelhaardt
A great evening in totally relaxed atmosphere at Genusstur in Venningen. Matthias Mangold as the host and guide through the evening, even prepared, cooked and served wonderful food for us.


I hope I got your tastebuds animated and wish you many good Rieslings. Cheers!

Related posts: My interview with Matthias
My visit to Bürklin-Wolf and to Reichsrat von Buhl
Plus more about Riesling